Student hides gun in two pieces to smuggle into school

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - More details have emerged about how a student was able to smuggle a gun onto the campus of Hickman Mills Jr. High School Friday.

School spokesperson Ebony Walker said Monday the student hid the weapon in two pieces inside his ROTC boot.

"It's common that the detectors go off because there is metal in the boots," she said. "The student knowing that I guess, spotted a weakness there and put the gun in his and walked through the detector and it went off at that time and the assumption was that it was his boots."

She explained that at the Jr. High School, students and staff alike all go through metal detectors. But one student, who wished to remain anonymous, said it is different at Ruskin High School, also in the Hickman Mills School District.

When asked if they felt safe at school, the student answered, "Sometimes, not all the time."

The student went on to say that at Ruskin High School, there are four metal detectors at a back entrance that most students who ride the bus use. Those, according to the student, have not been turned on this school year.

"They are off. Say someone has a gun or knife and they want to shoot somebody, well that's easy for them because they don't have metal detectors on or nothing. If you had that and you were going to do that, you would just walk right through," said the student.

41 Action New asked Ruskin High School Principal Jesse Rivers, about the issue of the four metal detectors. He said the school has used the detectors since the beginning of the year, but chose to randomly screen students since October 1.

‘It was a scheduling issue based on the number of teachers. We wanted to make sure that we had teachers in the right place," Rivers said.

As of Monday, Rivers said the high school is screening everyone again, but not in response to Friday's gun scare.
Walker said the protocol is for a member of the school district staff, usually teachers, to be at each metal detector.

Although the Board of Directors approved a $3.38 million reduction in the district's budget for the 2011-2012 school year, Walker said there have been "minimal" cuts in the budge this school year.

After it was reported Friday afternoon that a gun was found in a student's backpack inside a classroom at Hickman Mills Jr. High School, parents told 41 Action News that they were concerned that the weapon slipped passed security because the teachers are not being paid for the time to properly watch them.

"Regardless of whether or not they are being paid, it is part of their job to make sure the school is safe, to man those metal detector stations, to make sure they are visible at games and extracurricular activities for the sake of our students," Walker said.

The ROTC uniform inspection policies are likely to change, but the district is not saying how.

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